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Frederick H. Drury


Born in Leduc two decades before Imperial Oil's famous Leduc No. 1 well would usher in Alberta's modern petroleum era, Frederick H. Drury's oil and gas career has lasted nearly as long as the industry itself in this province. Fresh from a war-time tour with the Royal Canadian Navy, Drury joined Imperial Oil's drilling department in 1948, where he learned the nuts and bolts of the business for three years.


In 1951, he joined Weatherford Oil Tools and quickly worked his way up through the ranks, becoming president in 1958. He oversaw construction of the company's new Edmonton factory in 1959, a facility that gave Weatherford the ability to manufacture all of its downhole tools in Canada, using locally sourced raw materials.


In 1961, Drury directed the diversification of Weatherford by forming Western Metallurgical, which patented and manufactured a dental amalgam alloy sold worldwide. The subsidiary was eventually purchased by Johnson & Johnson.


In 1962, Drury established offices for Weatherford in Anchorage and Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, tapping into the new oil activity on that state's North Slope and, in 1978, would do the same on Canada's east coast, establishing Weatherford centres in Halifax and St. John's.


Over the years, Weatherford has been instrumental in developing a number of products and tools for use in the oilfields, including Thread-Lock, an epoxy compound used to stop welding on casing and prevent shoe joints from falling off, and the industry's largest dual tubing spider and elevators assembly.


With growth well in hand at Weatherford, Drury launched a third career in 1991, establishing Flexxaire Manufacturing to build remote-controlled, variable-pitch fans for use in gas compressor installations.


Besides his varied business activities, Drury has been equally active in the community, giving his time to numerous business and professional organizations, including the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the Edmonton Petroleum Club. He is also involved in the University of Alberta's New Ventures program and was instrumental in the establishment of the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame a decade ago.


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